Molybdenite could take over from silicon and even graphene as the material of choice for electronic components in the future.
A team working at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland has been assessing the compound for its potential in electronic components such as transistors, the tiny automated switches that activate parts of circuits based on their input current.
The advantages the scientists have discovered in molybdenite could also have benefits for making new solar panels and the manufacture of LED lights.
For instance, they claim molybdenite is a better semiconductor than graphene and a more compact building material than silicon.
A 0.65 nm wafer of molybdenite performs as well in terms of electron movement as a 2 nm layer of silicon, they reveal.
This could ultimately mean that automated switches for use in electronic circuit boards could be made at less than half the size of present-day transistors.
Posted by Simon Jones